Mr President, Excellencies,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The acceding country Croatia*, the candidate countries the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland** and Serbia*, the countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate countries Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
The European Union and its Member States welcome the endorsement by the General Assembly of the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, entitled “the Future We Want.” We also express our gratitude to the Government and people of Brazil for hosting the Conference and providing all necessary leadership and support.
As stated at the highest level in Rio, we consider the renewed political commitment to move towards sustainable development as a key outcome of the Conference. We are particularly pleased that we collectively managed to address the challenge of sustainable development governance. We welcome the renewal of the institutional framework for Sustainable development and the creation of the High Level Forum. As regards environmental governance, we are pleased with the decision to upgrade UNEP. We consider the enhanced role given to civil society and local authorities in new governance frameworks a significant development. The European Union and its Member states will actively contribute to translating these commitments into reality.
We also welcome the recognition in Rio that an inclusive green economy is a useful tool and a promising pathway to achieve sustainable development. We remain of the view that after decades of creating wealth through a more ‘conventional’ economic model, the international community has not decisively addressed resource depletion, environmental degradation, economic inequalities and social marginalisation. We believe that an inclusive green economy should address the economic, social and environmental dimensions, thereby significantly contributing to achieving poverty eradication, fair and decent jobs, food security and ecosystem resilience.
Both before and in Rio, the European Union and its Member States engaged constructively while seeking an ambitious result. We would have liked to see more, but the Rio outcome document does offer a number of opportunities for undertaking further substantive work at the international level. In this connection the European Union and its Member States underline the importance of operationalising and further developing what was agreed in Rio, within the UN system.
Our commitment to engage actively and constructively with partners in the forthcoming negotiations and processes established in Rio remains undiminished. Our ambition also remains undimmed. Our collective commitment to eradicating poverty and to improving people’s lives, while significantly reducing pressures on the environment, demands nothing less.
Thank you very much.
* Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
** Iceland continues to be a member of EFTA and the European Economic Area.